Not Clocking In & Out
One of the most common ways in which employees are wrongly denied overtime pay is by being forced to do part of their jobs "off the clock." Whether it is prep work at the beginning of a shift or cleaning and closing tasks at the end of a shift, workers have a legal right to be paid for all of the time they spend on the job. Off the clock work not only prevents workers from being accurately paid for their efforts, but can also deny them the opportunity to earn overtime by requiring employees to work more hours to get to the point where federal and state laws mandate that they be paid at a higher rate. If you have been wrongly denied overtime pay, it is important that you seek the counsel of an experienced employment lawyer to determine how much you are owed and consider your options for recovering the unpaid wages. At the Chicago Overtime Law Center, our Chicago overtime lawyers are well-equipped to handle a variety of unpaid overtime claims, including those related to time keeping issues.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law that governs a variety of wage and hour issues. Along with a number of state laws, the FLSA obligates employers to pay covered workers at a higher rate - typically 1.5 times the worker's usual rate - for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a week. A covered employee who makes $20 an hour, for example, must be paid $30 an hour for all overtime.
Just as a worker can't log time that he or she doesn't actually spend working, an employer can't require an employee to perform job tasks off the clock. By not requiring shift employees to clock in and out, an employer makes it difficult to not only track, but also prove the number of hours an employee works in any given week. The off the clock protection also extends to salaried employees, who must be paid for any "take home" or weekend work.
An employee wrongly denied overtime pay has the right to sue his or her employer in federal or state court to get back the money that is rightfully theirs. Employers often vigorously defend these cases due to concerns that a finding of liability will lead to potential lawsuits from additional employees, and because of the possibility of being required to pay additional monetary damages if it is established that they have committed wage and hour violations. Under these circumstances, the assistance of a skilled wage and hour attorney can make the difference that will lead to employee recovery of unpaid wages and other amounts. It is also important for employees to understand that, while the prospect of taking legal action against an employer can be intimidating, overtime laws strictly prohibit an employer from retaliating against a worker who files suit or otherwise complains about unpaid overtime.
At the Chicago Overtime Law Center, our Illinois employment attorneys represent workers in a wide variety of cases, including those related to unpaid overtime.
Serving clients across the country, we are dedicated to ensuring that workers earn honest pay for an honest day's work. Call (312) 869-4095 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Chicago overtime attorney.